Duochrome Dots

I tried so hard to get a few decent photos of this mani, but still no lightbox and terrible weather, so couldn’t quite get the lighting right. But this one shot came out OK, and you can kinda see what I’m going for. This is Revlon Blackout, mottled with different sized dots of Rimmel Purple Reign (a sheer purple/red duochrome) and Royal Blue (a sheer purple/turquoise duochrome), both from the Metal Rush collection. Everything came courtesy of my local Poundland once again, aside from the dotting tools, which were a few pounds for 5 on eBay.

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For some reason, it reminds me of those old velvet clown paintings. I should’ve tried mattifying it to see if that added another dimension to it!

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Happy new year!

Well, there is it, it’s 2014 now, and I am finally done with the complete shitbag of a year that was 2013, in which I lost one of my oldest and most cherished friends and a beloved partner at the same time, I ran out of money on numerous occasions, my darling son turned into a horribly rotten teenaged black lagoon dweller, and my general physical and mental health has taken more tumbles than an elderly lush. But I’m still here somehow, and there’ve been a few positives towards the end of the year, but basically, I am glad it is time to be moving on to bigger and better things.

Also, I just discovered The Nail and Beauty Link, which is supposedly a trade website for nail polish, but appears to allow personal transactions. They stock a lot of OPI, ORLY, Nubar, Essie and Zoya at some pretty excellent prices. I have ordered a few things, I will report back on the quality of their service when I have received my goodies.

Anyway, I thought I’d give you a few of my festive manicures just to tide you over until I have time and energy to start swatching again. I still haven’t built my lightbox, but it’s high on my new to-do list, as is actually taking the time to catalogue my collection!

First up, Barielle Holiday Madness (TKMaxx/£9.99 for 5). This is a stunning olive green metallic shimmer; very festive and classy, and only required 2 coats. This held up well, even while my nails were at their longest and I was doing a lot of typing. Really like this one, will definitely wear it again.

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Next, vampy glitter tips from a combination of Revlon Black Star, a black shimmer and Maybelline Color Show (Brocades Collection) Ruby Refined (£3.99/Boots), which is a dense, delicately textured, pinkish red glitter, which made for a really gothy look. I think this one would actually look a little better if my nails had been shorter at this point, but it had a lot of drama. Wish I’d been able to show it off!

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Then I had to cut my nails back to almost nothing, and it was a quiet few weeks while I waited for them to be an acceptable length again. By the time I went to my first Christmas party of the season, I couldn’t stand it anymore, and decided to go for something short and funky. So here’s OPI Russian Navy (£5.99/TKMaxx) over Sally Hansen Raspberry Rave (£1/Poundland). This is a striping tape job, I wanted it to look sorta like random techno lights streaking over a dark sky, and I think it came out pretty well. Both polishes were delicious on their own, but Russian Navy is one of my picks of the year so far, it’s jaw-dropping! It’s a particularly curious shade, somewhere between royal purple and navy blue, with a subtle shimmer.

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And finally, here’s my Christmas day pick, Revlon Mistletoe (£1/Poundland). It really didn’t photograph that well, in natural light it is darker and has an almost green tone to it. But even as it is, a multicoloured micro glitter in a darkened base which took just two coats, and lasted through the whole of Christmas day and Boxing day, despite me spending a good portion of it wrestling with a live lobster and burning my fudge.

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Hope you all had a tolerable holiday period, and that you’re looking forward to the promise of a shiny new year. I am cautiously optimistic. I really hope 2014 doesn’t suck too much, for me or for everyone I love. Or you lot either.

As above, so below.

Two beautiful polishes for you today, both from my last trawl of the discount stores. First up, here’s Revlon Black Star (£1/Poundland), which is a drop-dead gorgeous black shimmer. It’s just packed with sparkle, and even though it looks quite tame in the bottle, it really comes alive on the nail. This may well be my new favourite black!

Flash.

Flash.

Then, I coupled it with ORLY Go Deeper (£4.99/TKMaxx), a blue/green hex glitter mix in a delicate blue jelly base. I’ve got a few blue/green glitters, and this isn’t the best of them, but it’s perfectly pleasant, and as it’s ORLY, it’s a great quality polish.

Flash.

Flash.

Natural light.

Natural light.

I do like that it has a few different sizes of glitter in it, but it’s not quite the right balance, and I think it needs to be a little more dramatic to match up to similar things I’ve tried.

The New Black

allnightlong1I’m back, baby! My nails are still a lot shorter than I like them, but they are in much betterallnightlong2 condition, and I’m really hoping they’ve stopped splitting for now. I have so much polish to try out, but I thought I’d start with a simple one, so this is Eye Candy All Night Long, which is not only my new favourite black, but is also on sale in larger Sainsburys stores for just £3 at the moment! It’s thick and smooth and would probably have been fine with just one coat, if I wasn’t so cackhanded. I’ve layered it with a single coat of 2true Glitterati Shade 5 (£1.99/Superdrug), and then H&M Matte Top Coat (£2.99/H&M), which is one of the more satin finish mattes, but I think it works.

Unfortunately, in the harsh light of day, I can see that I was a bit hasty with my glitter, and there are bubbles on a couple of my nails, but I think that was just the overexcitement at finally being able to a manicure again! I don’t mind though, as it’s still a really cute mani.

In other news, my last two birthday polishes arrived recently (thanks, Emma!), the gorgeous Teal Glitter, and Reclaim (mini) by Nubar. I have also recently solved my polish storage solution for the time being, which is great since keeping them all in oversize shoe boxes under my bed wasn’t really ideal. And I’m working on getting a proper camera/lightbox setup, so hopefully I’ll be able to start doing this whole thing right soon.

Don’t walk; RUN!

Well, I’m almost back from my hiatus, though I’m still not doing anything interesting with my nails as it’s still too hot and they are still too stubby and I am still a bit weepy and useless. Boo!

However, today I bring you my latest bargain haul, courtesy of my local Poundland. I got a tipoff a few days ago (thanks D!) that they had some OPI Shatter polishes in stock, so I popped down today, and boy, did I get lucky…

L to R: Sally Hansen Virtual Violet and Plum Power, OPI Shatter Black, Gold and Shatter The Scales.

L to R: Sally Hansen Virtual Violet and Plum Power, OPI Shatter in Black, Gold and Shatter The Scales.

Yes, these are full, brand new bottles of Sally Hansen and OPI for just a pound each; these polishes normally retail for up to £8 a go. So if you’re in the UK, get your butt down to your nearest Poundland and see if you can grab yourself some bargain beauties! Add these to the bottle of Jack The Lad by Butter London I picked up from my local TKMaxx for £4 the other day, and it has been quite the week for fantastic finds. Phew, it almost makes me feel better about the weather and all the drama round here lately… well, almost.

I hope to be back with some new swatches within the next week or so. Take it easy!

Time to play!

smokeashesFirstly, let me apologise sincerely for the state of my cuticles in this pic. I spent most of yesterday arguing with a flat pack futon and my hands are now ragged and raw, but since I didn’t break a single nail in the process (win!), I figured it was manicure time.

Tonight is my podcast’s Rocky Horror Picture Show anniversary special, so I was going to go for something suitably themed, but I just couldn’t think of anything that I would be able to do with my stupid shaky hands, so I went with this instead. This is Smoke & Ashes from the China Glaze Hunger Games collection (around £4.60/eBay seller: salonsupplystore) a black base littered with tiny green and gold flakies, and Accessorize’s Ultra Marine Green (£3.45/Superdrug), a pale green with gold shimmer from the Oil Slick range on the feature nail. I’ve also decorated it with some round silver studs which were also an eBay grab, though I can’t remember how much I paid for them. I love this look, but now I have to find something to wear with it, argh!

Hope you’re all gearing up for an ace weekend, see you on the flipside.

On the road again.

Sure enough, I managed to butcher my dotticure by doing too much washing up, and then made a failed attempt at a lime green glitter effect, and then another failed attempt at a blue/grey half moon mani, and then a further failure at a blue flaky thing. Today was not a good day for my poor nails. I’d have left them bare for a change, but tonight I was off see Behind The Candelabra with my ladies, and I couldn’t go without a little glam!

wagontrailEventually though, I settled on what you see to the left, which is Wagon Trail by China Glaze (£4.59/eBay). It’s a warm black with a gold shimmer to it, and it’s divine! It even has a tiny hint of green in it. I used two coats for full coverage, and I have to say, China Glaze is fast becoming my very favourite brand due to the range of colours and the consistency and quality of the polish formula. Guess I’ll have to get some more then. Ahem.

I’m hoping to try out some slightly more summery shades soon, now that we’re getting the weather for it. Watch this space!